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GunIn Monroe County, guns recovered by police are more likely to have been bought in New York, rather than from out of state.

Monroe County stands out in a report created by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman based on gun-tracing figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. <Check out this interactive mapping tool.>

Statewide, 74 percent of the 52,915 guns recovered by police between 2010 and 2015 came from out of state. The top states where trafficked guns originated were Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

But in Monroe County, only 44 percent of the 4,536 crime guns came from out of state, the lowest rate among urban counties. The in-state guns recovered by police in Monroe County accounted for 18 percent of all of the in-state guns recovered in the entire state.

What does this tell us? Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli has said the community has a problem with guns that originate close to home. Legal guns are stolen from cars and houses. Drug addicts sell their legal weapons for cash. Family members steal legal weapons to sell on the street. These guns end up in the hands of criminals. In some cases,people can lose their permits if they’re found to have sold their weapons illegally or stored them carelessly.

We’ve had terrible tragedies as a result of stolen guns, including the 2009 shooting of Officer Anthony DiPonzio and the 2015 Genesee St. mass shooting.

The city has a safe storage law, requiring weapons to be secured. County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell is pushing for a countywide measure.

An additional proposal is to run public education campaigns. That wouldn’t require a new law or new penalties. Remind gun owners they don’t want to become a victim of a crime that leads to another victim. It would be a common-sense way to raise awareness and my guess is it would have bipartisan support, as well as support from law enforcement.


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You may have noticed, I haven’t been here in a while. I took the summer off to run for office. I wrote a book about the experience. It’s been fully-funded on Kickstarter and will be out by November 4! More details here.